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Making Tax Digital: HMRC has a dream

23rd Sep 2016
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Jennifer Adams reviews the MTD consultation documents to discover how HMRC perceives life post-MTD.

The MTD consultation documents are not an easy read. MTD: Tax administration ( which includes proposals for a revised penalty regime) is particularly difficult to follow. The reader is bombarded with 'we are doing it for the good of our customers' and 'we have been asked by our customers to do this' and it's all going to be wonderful-type statements. Much of the text is not aimed at 'customers', their agents or many other interested parties but appears to be instructions to the software houses who need to bring HMRC's 'dream' of MTD to fruition.

The basics are well known - under MTD every business owner large or small, VAT registered or not, including landlords, will submit quarterly returns (sorry...'updates) and if any are late by more than one month then penalty points will be levied. HMRC's dream is that every business will use software to record income and expenses by loading the data manually or by scanning receipts and then every quarter submit a summary of that information to HMRC.

Deadlines

No more than nine months after the accounting year end the business will be required to make a final submission, termed an 'end of year activity' report. This will confirm the previous submissions and include claims such as capital allowances, if they have not already been included in the previous submissions. So in effect there will be five 'updates' in all.

Agent free

In HMRC's dream agents will only get involved in the preparation of the final accounts.  HMRC thinks taxpayers will do the quarterly submissions themselves with agents (maybe) coming in at the end of the line or do the whole lot - bookkeeping and all.

DIY tax assessment

The taxpayer will log onto his own digital tax account where some information will already be loaded. So far this will be bank interest, P60 figs and CIS income. Later on dividends from PLCs and rental income from properties let via letting agents will be included. The taxpayer will submit the business's total figures.

HMRC's tax computer will instantly calculate the taxpayer's potential tax bill and at the same time remind the taxpayer to put some money aside for payments (which, invariably, they won't).

HMRC believes that in this way the liability won't come as such a shock when the final demand is issued. The intention is to remind ('prompt') the dates of payment at the time of submission of accounts information. In HMRC’s ideal world taxpayer's knowing their tax bill will immediately lead to accurate tax payments and the instances of late or non-payment will be reduced.

There are many issues to be decided upon from answers to the 150 questions in the consultation documents.

Here are some of them:-

Software

The main MTD consultation document does not say that spreadsheets cannot be used, they may get a reprieve as discussed here.

Taxpayers' can record business transactions as they wish but they must use software that will either be free (for basic entries -whatever that means – we don’t know yet) or purchased to submit. Submission needs to be in the format that HMRC's computers will understand. HMRC don’t want to spend their money developing software, the expertise for which is already available at the software houses, which is fair enough.

The purchased software will prompt the taxpayer into making the correct decisions about how to classify expenses, not HMRC itself. However, HMRC will be expanding their (un)helpful webchats, online guides, and YouTube videos to assist taxpayers and 'Ruth' will always be in the background.

HMRC believes that these facilities will help rather than hinder or confuse the taxpayer. As a result HMRC believes that there should be a reduction in phone calls for what they perceive are the more simple questions. Already their automated phone recording system directs callers to the (not always accurate) gov.uk website.

What will be submitted

Submissions will be of total figures only and HMRC’s intention is to use set expense headings. HMRC believes that there should be no need to retain the use of three line accounts. The tax software's ability to deliver more detail means that submission of accounting information will apparently be as easy as submitting three line accounts.

There will be no requirement to submit invoices or receipts. HMRC’s dream is of customers purchasing software sophisticated enough to scan and load invoices and receipts automatically, thereby reducing the time required for manual loading. This functionality will obviously be dependent upon the cost of the software. Many small businesses won't be able to afford the higher cost and thus the higher level functions of sophisticated software. Also, HMRC envisage the use of bank-feed software to load data directly from bank accounts into the submission.

When information will be submitted

HMRC is adamant that one month after the quarter end and nine months for the final submission is long enough to comply with the submission of accounts information. They think that taxpayers should be attending to their accounts every week anyway, so the deadline of one month will not be difficult to achieve.

In HMRC's dream each quarters' accounting information will be so accurate that minimal amendments or additions will be needed. Thus the year end submission will be a quick confirmation of the figures previously submitted.

Paying the tax

Payment dates will remain the same, meaning more deadlines for taxpayers to remember. HMRC doesn’t think that this will be a problem as they will be reminding taxpayers of deadlines when the taxpayer logs onto their account. HMRC assumes that all taxpayers will be checking their account on a regular basis.

HMRC expects to send reminders to taxpayers via text and email. In this week's Talking Points HMRC announced that when a prepopulated entry is added to the taxpayer’s digital tax account, they will receive a text at the same time.

Enquiries

One stated aim of MTD is better targeted enquiries. Enquiries will only be made into the year end submission. HMRC will have 12 months from the year end submission date to make an enquiry which will be on the final submission and not on any of the quarterly updates.

Over time the information submitted will create a picture of a taxpayer's business, which will enable more accurate comparisons with other similar businesses than are available currently. This is one of the reasons for HMRC’s dislike of three line accounts.

Conclusion

Some dreams come true and although the basic premise of MTD will become a reality, that does not mean that the detail is set in stone.

AccountingWEB will be submitting responses to the consultation documents based on members' comments but in the consultation process it is the number of submissions that will attract HMRC's attention. Even if you respond to only one or two of the questions posed in the documents then that submission will count.

It is time to show HMRC that some facets of its dream will, in fact, be unworkable and as such be fantasy. As Rebecca Cave has said, what is needed now is a call to action by all accountants.

Replies (88)

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By gordo
26th Sep 2016 21:50

The purpose of MTD is to accelerate tax receipts. The Governmment is bankrupt. £2 trillion in debt with another £260 billion increase last year.
Accuracy in MTD submissions is irrelevant. It is about the following:

"to simplify the payment of taxes, including whether to align payment dates and bring them closer to the point when profits arise, so that taxpayers MAKE a single REGULAR PAYMENT that covers all their tax affairs"
(read monthly payment to account)

'Consultation' is just a method of telling you how it's going to be.

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By David MacBean
27th Sep 2016 10:18

The proposals are completely bonkers which look like they've been dreamt up by some schoolboy. Businesses are more complicated & very few work on the cash basis so what is the point of filing cash flow info? Most of my clients are quite old & wouldn't cope with using computers for their records so they will revolt against it - if it had any merit they could justifiably be forced to do it but they have businesses to run & especially the small ones they're not bookkeepers & don't want to spend more time on what is a farce which doesn't add anything to the whole process of people paying their correct tax dues. Wake up HMRC & get a grip of the situation before it becomes a national disgrace.

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By Marlinman
27th Sep 2016 13:46

Unless HMRC provide free software and training to do the job, it is doomed to failure. Expecting unrepresented taxpayers to buy software is going a bit too far.

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Replying to Marlinman:
Morph
By kevinringer
27th Sep 2016 14:54

I feel the cost to the client in terms of client time learning and using the software will be far more than the cost of the software.

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By accountright
27th Sep 2016 14:33

Just listened to another hour of "we have a dream" from HMRC on the latest webinar. Usual stuff, ask a question and they don't respond or give you a stock answer.
The webinar pointed me to a consolidated response document which I have completed.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5VCKXLP

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By B.R.
27th Sep 2016 15:18

I attended a MTDfB Consultation meeting this morning, and I can confirm that your article is not overstating the expectations of HMRC - it really is frightening. The road map for MTD has obviously been drawn up by the same civil servant who introduced the Family and Working Tax Credit on-line system, and of course, the claw-back rules for Child Benefit, class 2 NIC on to the SA100, Marriage Allowance initiative, and don't let us forget Winter Fuel payment for all UK pensioners. Give him or her a New Years Honour gong, I say!

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Replying to B.R.:
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By johnjenkins
27th Sep 2016 16:13

I suppose we can take some consolation that the universal credit scenario is 5 years behind schedule.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
Tornado
By Tornado
27th Sep 2016 16:32

Good point. I had forgotten about that particular project although there is a great deal more logic to Universal Credit which I can support but practically nothing in MTD deserves any support, in my opinion.

The point is that Universal Credit, a more credible and acceptable idea, is still not live everywhere after all this time. With the massive changes to tax administration, that MTD proposes, it may take years to go fully live by which time the Country will be in dire straits.

I think I might just retire to my tropical island by then and watch the UK sink from a distance.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
Morph
By kevinringer
27th Sep 2016 21:01

Re UC delay - HMRC's list of software suppliers only has 1 that does UC. Part of the MTD consultation discusses selecting periods that coincide with UC. But if a taxpayer does they're going to be tied to one supplier. See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/record-keeping-and-simpler-in...

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By Pavilionaire
27th Sep 2016 18:04

One of my main concerns is about the proposed 9-month deadline for filing of the 5th "Adjusted" update.

Most sole traders / partnerships / landlords have a year-end of 31st March / 5th April, putting the deadline at 31st December / 5th January, i.e. a bank holiday weekend just days after Christmas.

31st January is always a nightmare, but at least there's nothing else going on at the end of January. I know limited companies already have 9 months to file but they are spread out across the year so don't have the same bottleneck as annual submissions.

HMRC were suggesting the nightmare of 31 January might be a thing of the past but the way things are looking that might be a picnic compared to how December could look under MTD.

And I haven't even mentioned the limited company y/e 31 March that need to be filed by 31 Dec!

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By johnjenkins
28th Sep 2016 09:22

So what has quarterly figures and having a flexible basis period got to do with Digitalisation?
I have a very open mind and have searched my soul but cannot find anyway that this will work.
If HMRC want money quicker (which I can comprehend) then just make the on account payments on a monthly basis (including those where the tax liability is under £1k).
If they are that desperate stick a couple of percent on the basic rate tax for a few years.

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By North East Accountant
28th Sep 2016 09:35

I attended the MTD yesterday at Newcastle to see the whites of the eyes, so to speak.

Whilst HMRC were very polite and said they would take the forthright feedback on board and feed into system they were less than convincing when I challenged them that they actually would listen.

Consultation closes 07/11/16, autumn statement 23/11/16 and draft clauses for Finance Bill 05/12/16 doesn't leave a lot of time to fully digest the feedback.

But we all know that anyway and the consultation is all PR, as they have made their minds already, just not told us.

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Worm
By TheLambtonWorm
28th Sep 2016 10:05

I dare bet the tax saving by HMRC will be fairly sizable.

If it ends up that physical invoices have to be uploaded - then I think it will be far less likely people will 'try it on' in terms of claiming tax relief on stuff they shouldn't. I expect that this will be the case for both unrepresented taxpayers, and unscrupulous agents alike.

HMRC will have info available at their fingertips without ever even needing to go through the process of opening an enquiry for simple stuff - eg the fairly routine one when you have a refund on your first VAT return.

Also, in theory if they have specific details of everyones reported expenditure, they also have details of that same income for the other entity.

Not that I'm a fan of the whole thing, but I can understand why they would want this sort of info to hand.

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Replying to TheLambtonWorm:
Tornado
By Tornado
28th Sep 2016 10:40

Your assessment of the situation assumes that people will include everything in their uploaded records.

In my experience, most people want to get their Accounts and Taxes correct and many employ Accountants and other Agents to ensure that they do achieve this. Whilst there will undoubtedly be some unscrupulous Agents, these would certainly be in a small minority, and most Agents perform a valuable service in effectively policing the tax system for which the Government pay us nothing.

In my view, by insisting that businesses deal directly with HMRC, there will be a much greater chance for fraud as HMRC will only see the information uploaded to them and despite internal checks on the data (by computers) it should be easy for those with fraud in mind to just ensure that the uploaded figures look OK to pass the computer checks.

With regard to the cross checking of information, there is evidence to me that HMRC data is already corrupted (I am sure others will agree), so the bigger this reliance on MTD the more corrupt data that will arise, probably snowballing out of control eventually so it will be difficult to determine what is genuine information and what is fantasy.

In the meantime, HMRC will be stretched to the limit and further, just dealing with the millions of 'not expected' error reports thrown up by the checks on people who are trying their hardest to provide accurate data but simply do not understand what they are doing.

What a mess that will be.

There is not a lot of logic in the MTD proposals which are indeed a dream. I have this vision that the MTD team have group sessions where they all hold hands in a circle, close their eyes and make a big wish together, with all of their might, that MTD comes to life as they envisage.

I don't think this particular wish will come true but I will keep an eye out for those flying pigs just in case.

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By malc901
28th Sep 2016 16:30

HMRC are not living in the real world. They should come and meet some of my clients (or the clients of any other small accountancy practice) to realise this dream will not work. In reality it will be the accountant submitting the quarterly returns but they will not be able to cope with the additional work and clients will not want to pay any extra fees.

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By Comptable
28th Sep 2016 16:51

someone seems to have knicked most of the postings..........

There are only 6 there. Is this the curse of 6 striking again?

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By mtd
28th Sep 2016 16:52

Mtd -> Making tax difficult

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By johnjenkins
29th Sep 2016 09:34

I have given this a bit more thought and although the principal of all transactions being automatically sent to HMRC is quite rational (I presume there would be a great big database with all transactions - cash excluded- ready to be hacked) the fundamental underlying problem is that our country is split (no not Tory/ Labour or Brexit/stayers) into high techies and low techies. There is a bit of middle ground, but not much.
An example of this is a client of mine (IT) says that as far as he is concerned HMRC could have daily figures without any bother. His father, also a client, is a self-employed electrician (not vat reg.) supplying materials as well as labour. His son has been trying for ages to bring him into the "digital" age. He has even set him up with all the tools needed to produce monthly figures, to no avail. He cannot even cope with "smart" phones. He can just about cope with e-mails.
How many people still think in miles not kilometres etc.?

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Replying to johnjenkins:
Tornado
By Tornado
29th Sep 2016 10:04

More problems is store then as a look at the 'Free' software recently being promoted by HMRC for 'simple record keeping' shows that it is all for mobile phones, as far as I can see! (Someone with more technical expertise may tell me different).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/record-keeping-and-simpler-in...

Behold the future of MTD. A lottery of mobile phone apps, all of which are different. Which one is the best? Will they provide free unlimited support? What happens if your mobile phone signal is weak or non-existent? Which of these software developer are going to fail and leave you in the lurch? What happens if the software makes mistakes which involves you in massive fines from HMRC? What happens if you want a mortgage?

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Replying to Tornado:
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By accountright
29th Sep 2016 10:23

I emailed VT software last week as I use this and asked if they will be incorporating the online quarterly filing requirement. Here is the response:
"We will but as yet HMRC have not released any details of how this is going to work so we can’t give any idea yet of what this will entail but we will definitely be incorporating it into the software".

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Replying to accountright:
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By johnjenkins
29th Sep 2016 10:29

Did you know that VT have no intention of going on to "the cloud". So it will be interesting to know just how all this will work with VT. Perhaps it could be done through ixbrl as the Limited Accounts are now.

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Replying to Tornado:
Morph
By kevinringer
29th Sep 2016 13:18

@Tornado only 1 supplier has a product suitable for UC. The con docs talk about using UC base periods so the thinking (as we've long suspected) is that MTD is in part UC driven. But if there's only 1 supplier of UC software that is no choice at all. Or does HMRC expect "customers" to maintain one system for UC and one for everything else. What happens if a "customer" using one of the other 17 products becomes a UC claimant? Do they have to change provider? Can they migrate their data? The benefit of UC is marginal compared to Tax Credits, the time and cost of switching software will put off just about all self-employed claimants.

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Replying to kevinringer:
Tornado
By Tornado
29th Sep 2016 13:36

There is also the obvious question of who takes responsibility for the accuracy of information submitted to HMRC? With 'free' software, there are bound to be disclaimers with all such software, even if it is the fault of the software for submitting the inaccurate information in the first place. Accurate tax submissions cannot be guaranteed, even with this 'free trial' software.

We have not yet started looking at those unincorporated businesses with turnovers into the hundreds of thousands of pounds who cannot even consider free apps for simple record keeping.

As I have said before (several times) HMRC should commission and maintain software that is free to all and has been designed to provide them with all the information that they require, including integration with UC if necessary. It is only by fully standardising tax software that any order will be given to a Digital future.

Ironically, such 'Logical' thinking is beyond the Architects of the MTD proposals but probably massive pressure from the vested interests is present as well who would not allow this to happen. Money rules here I think.

The most advanced digital tax system in the world? Pull the other one.

Thanks for the info Kevin.

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By johnjenkins
29th Sep 2016 10:56

Talking about apps. I wonder how much HMRC will make on all the "marketing crap" that will be released on this free software.

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By johnjenkins
29th Sep 2016 14:03

Ode to HMRC
Mama Mia

They had a dream
Which can't come true
The software House sold them a brew
Of something that looked lovely
but it tasted vile
Cost a bloody fortune
Throw it on the pile
I believe in Agents
and everything we do
So take your crappy condoc
and flush it down the loo.

You all know the chorus

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By Henry Hobbs
02nd Oct 2016 08:35

Hello
I've written about this before, but feel I need to keep hammering on.
I have been in accountancy for over 55 years. I've worked in industry for multinationals, mega and businesses.
I have been a sole practitioner since 1984.
I have a small practice now of 99 clients.
Of these probably around 90% are blue collar.
Also 76 have a 31st March year ends. This is in line with the HMRC preferred year ends which for years they have insisted on advising clients to use.
Very few of these clients maintain a written book, but are extremely diligent in keeping all necessary hard records.
They rely on my ability to speed write up the equivalent of a full set of books culminating in an ETB which is instead of an NL.
Though I say it, my accounts are to a very high standard, and perform very well under enquiries!!
Theses clients will soon have submission quarters of June, September, December and March. The one months grace will be July, October, January, and April. Then the fifth and final submission!!
The reality is that HMRC is not capable of changing these clients abilities, personalities and characters. These clients are all skilled in their own chosen trades.
So what happens to them?
If I only provide a supervisory, guiding brief for these clients, how can I manage this many on my own.
There are millions of blue collar clients, I specialise with them.
I will add they all have very respectable turnovers so will not be exempt.
At my age I'm not too worried about the future other than I have no desire to retire.
But if all these blue collar clients are pressed by HMRC and start moving agents, can you imagine the chaos they will cause.
And I will guarantee that even the most sophisticated of practices who I've read in these reviews will not be able to school, groom, and perfect these clients.
These clients do not see it as there brief to change when their main effort into their livelihoods can be a hard worked six day week.
How many other small practitioners like myself are there out there.
Comments and views are welcomed!!
Kind regards
Henry Hobbs
[email protected]

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By Henry Hobbs
02nd Oct 2016 08:55

How many HMRC top staff have worked with real blue collar self employed clients, let alone can actually understand and interprete proper book keeping, not just key pushing.
They've no idea on effort and time scale of managing blue collar clients.
I appreciate the comments of some contributors that they've got portfolios of sophisticated clients on IT, but there are millions of non sophisticated clients as well.
Where does HMRC think the magic wand will come from to change these clients?
A points based penalty system?
We've just seen Cameron and Osbourne exited for making bloopers, are we now waiting for total chaos to exit the HMRC boffins who are the architects of this debacle.

Point in question: HMRC argue SA, RTI, AE have all been successfully brought in.
(Watch this space for AE in 20 years time?)
So they now say MTD can be brought in.
They forget who brought the first three in? In the main it was the agents.
Now HMRC are thinking the taxpayers are going to bring in MTD?

Point: MTD can be great!!
But different time scales.
Different approaches.
And leave it to the agents, and give us the leeway needed.
Regards
Henry Hobbs
[email protected]

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Replying to Henry Hobbs:
Tornado
By Tornado
02nd Oct 2016 10:51

"(Watch this space for AE in 20 years time?)"

I think it might be case of watch this space in one years time. The vast majority of employers are yet to reach their staging date and these are the employers that have from one to just a few employees.

Whilst we have been able to assist with the setting up of AE for our more substantial employers already, these smaller businesses just treat AE as pain in the [***] and have no interest in it at all. They will all be looked after by us and will avoid penalties of course, but there must be hundreds of thousands of unrepresented businesses who are still unaware of what this is all about.

SA was introduced nearly twenty years ago and now works pretty well. The recent encouragement of the Government for Do It Yourself Tax is probably where things have gone wrong in that the Returns from DIYers are likely to include errors contributing extensively to the Tax Gap. The desperately short MTD timetable seems to be targetting these people first so whilst SA has worked well in the hands of those that understand it, the Government have massively reduced the effectiveness of the system by assuming everyone is an accountant. MTD is clearly heading for disaster as Accountants are being actively excluded from the system when if fact we hold the key to an efficient tax administration system.

I am not sure that we really know how RTI is working as the Government can only gauge this on what they see. It is what they do not see which is the real problem. Both RTI and AE rely on information being fed to HMRC & The Pension Regulator but there is an easy opportunity with these systems to just submit as much as you want to declare in such a way that the 'checking' software does not detect any error.

This is not likely to happen where Accountants and other Agents are involved, but we are not the problem here anyway.

It s clear to many that is is relatively easy to fool HMRC if you want to, but they do not realise it!

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By accountright
04th Oct 2016 08:01

Just heard back from my MP and it would seem that he has been fed the same BS as the rest of us. Teflon shoulders or what! here is his reply..........

"I have to say that yours is the first contact I have had on this, but I know that the thrust of the policy is based around the Government’s commitment to reduce burdens for taxpayers and build a transparent and accessible tax system fit for the digital age.

By the end of this year, every individual and small business will have a secure digital tax account, like an online bank account, that enables them to interact with HMRC digitally. By 2020, businesses and individual taxpayers will be able to register, file, pay and update their information at any time of the day or night, and at any point in the year, to suit them. For the vast majority, there will be no need to fill in an annual tax return.

So while I am pleased that the process is to be made simpler, as I said originally, I wanted to feed this view in to Treasury colleagues so they are aware of the feelings of you and your peers – which I am already doing!"

...........................I now plan to retire by April 2018

Polly

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Replying to accountright:
Tornado
By Tornado
04th Oct 2016 10:44

I have just received my 'Accountancy' journal, which contains yet more deeply critical reviews of MTD. This is in addition to growing unsettled reactions from a wide variety of other respectable sources. It is difficult to find any reviews that support MTD, or at least the way that it is being implemented.

Sooner or later your MP, and his colleagues,are going to start questioning the tripe that is being fed to them and I hope this will be sooner rather than later.

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Replying to accountright:
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By accountright
04th Oct 2016 18:16

............and here is my reply to our local MP.

"Thank you for coming back to me so quickly.

I’m not against having a digital tax system and welcome it. The issue here is that HMRC are going to force all businesses to file tax returns quarterly with a final submission 9 months after the end of each tax year. This will increase the burden on small businesses and individuals who would rather concentrate on running their business.

It just seems ludicrous to ask for 4 additional submissions a year and the timescale for implementing this system is far too short. The consultation is asking that all business with turnover up to £10,000 will be bought into the digital age by April 2018. These people will be under the tax threshold anyway as the tax free income is currently standing at £11,000

I believe the reason you have not heard from any of the vast number of small business’ in your constituency is because they are not aware of the plans to be imposed by HMRC. The consultation being conducted at the moment is due to end on 7th November and to me HMRC are just doing this to put a tick in the box so to speak and say that they carried out a consultation.

I also don’t believe the tax process will be made simpler. Yes, go digital, but the need for quarterly reporting is nonsense and will not reduce errors but probably increase them. Further, there will be a points based penalty system for non-compliance and this will increase the HMRC revenue stream.

I personally feel this is going to be a ticking time bomb for HMRC and that the backlash will be huge.

I have had my say and will leave you alone as I’m sure you have a busy work load and I really don’t want to become an irritation.

I for one will retire from my small business as I expect many others will in the future when this system is introduced."

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Replying to accountright:
Tornado
By Tornado
04th Oct 2016 18:53

My MP has also sent me a stock answer saying how wonderful it is going to be, and also quotes the £400 million that business is going to save.

There is clearly much ignorance amongst our MP's as this article shows that rather than making a saving, 2.6 million small businesses are going to foot a bill of £3.25 BILLION

https://www.accountancyage.com/2016/10/03/mtd-a-multi-billion-pound-cost...

I need to get back to him and educate him a bit more about what is going on and also suggest that as a Conservative MP, he may find himself out of a job at the next election as 2.6 million small businesses take their revenge on a thoughtless Government.

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Replying to Tornado:
Tornado
By Tornado
05th Oct 2016 15:21

Ok. I have sent back a more detailed two page email to my MP pointing out to him that there is much more to MTD than the patronising, cynical tripe in the Government's Glossy MTD brochure that he quoted me.

I can appreciate that MP's are unlikely to be up to speed on this project as this is probably regarded as some tweaking to the tax administration system rather than the complete change of tax administration that it is.

I have pointed out to him the true horrors of this project and hope that suitably inspired by the Conservative Conference, he will start seeing the danger this project poses to the vision for this Country that Theresa May has.

If you have written to your MP and received a stock answer or have not yet written at all, then I would urge you to do so. This project has only got this far due to the secrecy surrounding it and now is the time to alert others to the danger that lurks within it.

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By johnjenkins
04th Oct 2016 15:58

I think we should make it quite clear that we are not against "digital". Most of us, I'm sure, are pretty digital and will continue to move forward.
The problem is supplying HMRC with quarterly figures that are meaningless and not used for any purpose and being penalised for not supplying said meaningless figures.
Does our PM know about this? If she does and agrees with it she should be sacked immediately. In fact whoever dreamt up this codswallop should be sacked.
Time to block the tunnel.

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Tornado
By Tornado
05th Oct 2016 16:44

THERESA'S PARTY SPEECH (courtesy of BBC)

“It was like a tornado being unleashed,” says Councillor Ruth Bennett, from Beckenham. “These are things she has been thinking about for a long, long time. She’s been sitting on her hands. Now it’s bursting out."

Recognition at last.

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Replying to Tornado:
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By johnjenkins
05th Oct 2016 16:57

Priceless, Tornado.

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Tornado
By Tornado
06th Oct 2016 13:35

My photocopier supplier had a digital dream.

For years there was a simple email request for a meter reading and he got a reading by return so that he could raise the appropriate invoice.

Being involved in an industry where there is always newer and better ways to so things, he decided to invest in some software that would automatically poll customers and provide a template to return the readings. Unfortunately, as I do not use any Windows based email system, when I attempted to send back my readings in the supplied template, this apparently caused problems at his end and he did not get the reading. He did not seem to know what to do about this and as everything was integrated, no invoices were issued to me for some time.

He did manage to improve this polling system and for a while it seemed to work after a fashion until some disaster hit his computer system and corrupted the data. More months followed when he was not issuing invoices to me.

With the installation of a new photocopier came the latest innovation where he would be able to access the meter readings online at any time and send me automated bills. This seemed to work OK for a while until I queried the bills and worked out that he was charging me for every colour used as well as black when I should only be charged once for the colours. Apparently the copier had been set up incorrectly.

I received an invoice for August a little while ago which had an estimate of copies used which was much higher than the actual use and when I phoned to ask why, he said that there had been problems with the software. I gave him the correct readings and awaited the amended invoice, and I am still waiting.

I feel sorry for this man as he needs to be seen to embrace new technology but clearly this has caused him massive problems with his business. If he had stuck to the simple method of just asking for a reading each month, I think his business would be in a much better shape.

Ironically, I think he is one of those people who is going to have serious problems with MTD.

I would say that much of my daily time is battling with software that does not work properly whether that be specific applications or operating systems, as I believe some Sage users have experienced recently with Windows.

The Government need to ensure that organisations such as Microsoft do not have sufficient power to hold us all to ransom by creating updates to their software that prevents us from fulfilling our MTD obligations. For all I know, there is already some form of cosy agreement between the Government and those that control internet services and vital software, for example, to NOT disrupt services in return for something else. Such is the power of money.

Take HP for example and the ink cartridge event, it was so simple for them to cause widespread disruption to personal and business activities by the silent background uploading of software, some time ago. A ticking bomb that few knew about.

If that does not scare you, then I think it should. It certainly worries me that we are going to be forced to surrender ourselves to a handful of digital giants who have the potential to bring this country to its knees.

Who is it that will REALLY benefit from MTD?

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
06th Oct 2016 17:44

Yesterday I went to a Landlords exhibition and met with a National Landlords Association rep who said that they were all up in arms and were fighting MTD as hard as they could. Apparently NLA were told that the idea of MTD was in a paper written by one of the Treasury's student interns for his Masters degree.. G O thought - what a good idea...

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